Saturday, December 15, 2012

Connecticut, The Grinch, Bowling.

I am not going to write about the terrible shooting tragedy in Connecticut other than to say my heart goes out to all the families and the community generally. Much has been written already and much more will be written in the days to come. I don’t feel equipped to cover such a dreadful story.

Not everyGrinch Cakeone is on Facebook so I thought I would copy and post this picture of the most incredible cake I have ever seen. Matt reckons there must be some kind of rod or support up the centre creation in order for it to stand, even so, I think it is absolutely brilliant. I would hate to cut into it, but maybe you aren’t really supposed to although I imagine part of the cleverness is to make something which is edible as well. Makes my Strawberry Santas look even more pathetic!!! However good they may have tasted. There are regular postings on Facebook from a cake decorator in the UK who makes the most wonderful floral arrangements on the cakes, but this beats them all in my opinion.

Had a fun time bowling today, although I didn’t score very well, for some reason it was particularly enjoyable today. Later on I figured it was because I was feeling a lot better than I have been. Someone told us a story Taxiabout her son who had had an email from her daughter-in-law in the States. She said she had been out to supper with friends the other night and had a couple of drinks. Knowing she wasn’t supposed to drive her car after drinking, she took a taxi and despite driving through a checkpoint wasn’t stopped. The only trouble was, when she got home, she didn’t know where to park the taxi.

I’ve mentioned before how much I like duck and yet how very expensive it is here. However, for a special occasion, this sounds like a delicious recipe. The oil you have to make well in advance, however.

Duck Breasts and Orzo Salad with Herb-Infused Olive Oil

Contributed by Marcia Kiesel

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN Plus 3 weeks to make the infused oil

"Infusing olive oil is a great way to add more herbs to your life," saysduck-breasts Jovial King. (Herbs are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.) In this main-course salad, Marcia Kiesel rubs the oil on duck breasts and shallots before grilling them and also uses it in a vinaigrette.

  1. 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons Herb-Infused Olive Oil
  2. 2 Pekin duck breasts, skin removed
  3. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  4. 2 large shallots, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  5. 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 1/4 pound yellow wax beans
  8. 1 cup orzo
  9. 6 small radishes, thinly sliced
  10. 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  1. Rub 1 teaspoon of the Herb-Infused Olive Oil on the duck breasts and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, gently toss the shallots with 1 more teaspoon of the herb oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of the Herb-Infused Olive Oil with the vinegar and cayenne. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the beans until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a work surface and pat dry. Slice the beans on the diagonal 1 inch thick.
  4. Add the orzo to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and transfer the orzo to a large bowl. Let cool slightly, stirring a few times. Add all but 1 teaspoon of the vinaigrette to the orzo and season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally.
  5. Light a grill. Grill the duck breasts over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned on the outside and medium-rare within, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the duck breasts to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Grill the shallots on a perforated grill pan until browned and charred in spots, about 3 minutes per side.
  6. Add the beans, grilled shallots and radishes to the orzo and toss. Transfer to plates. Slice the duck breasts crosswise and arrange next to the orzo. Drizzle the duck with the reserved 1 teaspoon of vinaigrette, sprinkle with the chopped thyme and serve.

Have a great weekend



  1. Hi Jo
    Agree about the terrible events in USA ... and even more horrible so close to Xmas somehow.

    Love that cake

    1. Isn't it. The news is full of it of course. No-one has any idea why he would kill all those little kids. I want to rant about it, but am not sure whether to write or not.

      Me too, I think its a fantastic cake.